thoughts

A Thankful Day!

On this day we all take time to thank God for the many blessings that he has given us. And this year is especially one that has been full of blessings! I just cant express how very many things have been given to my family this year. No we aren’t rich, and nor have we had a super easy year, but we do have each other and there have been alot of good moments! In the past year I have started this blog, I have met so many great new mommy blogger, I have had a chance to watch my kiddos learn, laugh, and play with joy, I have not had a need for anything that I really needed, and my husband is always there with love and support. I have an amazing family, a chance to stay home and learn with my kids, and a God that loves more then I can imagine! I guess there is nothing else that I need!

I hope that you all had a moment to reflect on your blessing this thanksgiving day! There is nothing better then realizing that you are a blessed person! For me there are times when I feel alone or unhappy and there is nothing better then taking a real look at your life and seeing where the blessing are! Thanks to all of you who read this blog for all the comments, suggestions, support, and help you have given me. It means so much to me to know you are all there! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

Embracing Fall!

My Bunny is a person who loves to celebrate!!!!! She will celebrate anything and she will celebrate with all her heart! It is one of the things that I love so much about her! She spreads her joy every time she finds a new thing to celebrate! Today she wanted to rake leaves for the first time. Now we only have a few crab apple trees in the back of our yard that haven turned yet, but they had dropped a few leaves! So since it is fall, Bunny got a rake and raked  up a small pile of leaves! She was so proud and excited! “Mommy, come and see my leaf pile! Its FALL!!!!!” I love her! 🙂

Happy Fall Everyone!!!!!


Calling all Bloggers!



I everyone! I have a request for all of you. I have another blog that I run called  HOPE in the Home. I am currently trying to make it a space where all of those who are educating their kids in some way have a place to go for information, or to share ideas. Kind of an online co-op! So I am asking for guest bloggers who would be willing to write a blog post for us! I am looking for education ideas, education methods, ways to organize, working with multiple kids, learning spaces, etc. Pretty much anything that you think is important or relevant to parents! I want to keep things positive and respectful so that is can be a space that everyone can find something helpful on! So if you would be willing to write a small (or big) post for us, please contact me at {hopeleader(at)gmail(dot)com}. We would love to have as many guest bloggers as we can, so don’t be shy! It doesn’t need to be perfect, just something that is important to you! Thanks and Happy Schooling!

Our New Rhythm Plan

Well everyone, I have thought and thought and thought about what we need to do in our home to make things run more smoothly. Things last week were rather rough! I kind outlined this idea on my other blog Peace, Love, and Blessing and this weekend I worked really hard to figure out a positive way to help ease out transition into our new fall schedule (or rhythm since that’s more fun to say!). What I think we are going to do is to really be intentional. I know that I said that before, but I didn’t think about it in the way of chores and house cleaning. We are going to work together. So when it is time to clear the table, then we will all clear the table. That way they are helping and I am getting things done! I also wrote out our new rhythm out (complete with pictures) so that the kids will be see the transitions in the day. I am hoping that this will help us know what we need to do and not have fits when this happens! This is my plan for know. I know that things will change as we go, that’s life! But its a good start! I will be presenting this to them tomorrow and we will see how it goes! Here is a picture of my rhythm that is posted on door in the hallway.

I also want to take a moment to remember all of those who died in the attacks on 9/11. 10 years ago I was on a campaign trip with my family in Michigan. Being without a tv, my grandpa, came and told us all about it. I will never forget the look of horror on my parents faces. We spent the rest of the day watching the reruns of the coverage on the news. It was awful. I didn’t truly realize the extent of what happened. As it sunk in, I had random nightmares about terrorist for quite a while.  I also I really felt so much awe and gratitude for all the brave people who did go to help and make a difference. I know that we will never forget, and I know that we will tell our kids about it so they can honor the hero’s! May God Always bless the country and the people that live here!

Montessori Monday ~ A is for Apple

Well I have been away from my blog for quite a few days! I’m sorry for that! 🙂 I have been super busy helping a friend out and getting a super special project finished for the girls! I’ll give you a hint…its an outside work area! Wait till you see it! Its gonna be great!

Anyway…back to this post. Today we officially started our alphabet of the week. We started with”a” is for apple! I made a few trays and the girls did some pretty good work. I think Bunny got almost a full 2 hour work period in. Its a good start! Bug and Tadpole were here today and I think that they had a lot of fun too.
One thing that I am really thinking about is the way we work together. We are a homeschoolers and I think that we need to keep that in mind. I really notice that when I let go of my idea of what they should learn, they learn better! This is especially true for Bunny. So I need to make sure that I let her tell me when she is ready for more work, and really watch her to know when that is. I also need to realize that I will never have a perfect Montessori room. My girls will never truly run the house the way Montessori children care for their “children’s house”. Why? Because they are in our family home. So my kids are allowed to go where they want to in out house, and they are responsible for helping take care of the house. But instead of it being their work, its our work! We are a family and our work reflects that relationship.  I think that it is the thought that will make our year so much better and easier. It allowes me to have our girls really work with me and that will help us to grow close! So that being said, here is the pictures of our first real day of work.

Here is our alphabet basket for the week.
“A” is for apple, alligator, and art.

Our sandpaper letter for the week.

Here is what our weekly shelf looks like.

Polishing an apple work.

Spooning acorn tops.

Pouring “fairy jewels”. 🙂

Here are the geometric solid I have on a tray.
 It was a desperate attempt to get someone interested in them. Its not working! 🙁

Here is our weekly book basket. This is something that I am really going to focus on. I want the girls to really fall in love with living books, so this is something that we will have every week!

Bug, Tadpole, and Pup all worked with cylinder blocks.

Pup is mastering the buttoning frame! I am proud of her. She chose this work herself last week and she has been working with it alot! Today she had at least 15 min into working with this! Total concentration!

She and Bug loved polishing the apples. They also got to learn how to wait their turn! 😉

Bunny took a lot of time to color her Apple Blossom Fairy picture today! She did a great job!

There also was a lot of work today with the rough smooth boards. Bug loved them, and Pup and  Tadpole wanted to do it too!

This is not a great picture, but I was really proud of Bug for rolling her own run!

Bug and Pup were reading stories together!

Bunny did a couple of addition problems with exchange. She was a little unsure of what she did last year, but after a few minutes, she jumped back in! She did a great job!

Painting. You will see a ton of this this year! Bug and Pup are totally in love with this work, so I will really try and find a way for them to paint more. I guess I need to find a way to have an art area.

Here is Bunny’s picture of Mrs. Applebee. Mrs. Applebee is the first character that is in Elizabeth Foss’s Along the Alphabet Path and she really did a great job! I love that she wrote apple!
So that is the start to our school week! Its going really well so far! To see more Montessori work, check out the Montessori Monday link up over at One Hook Wonder and Living Montessori Now!

Words of Wisdom from Bunny!



Today was one of those days when Bunny is thoughtful. She tends to have these days every now again!:) She is a deep thinker and she usually has a ton of questions and thoughts. Today we were in the car and she was pretty quite. Then suddenly she says:
“Mommy heaven in in my heart. Is that right?”
I had no idea what to say. You see I have been reading alot of books about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and in many of their examples of children talking about their spiritual thoughts, the children use words that dont always mean what we think they do. I was thinking that this might be one of those moments. So I asked here:
“Well Bunny, what do you think heaven is?”
“Heaven is somewhere where Jesus is.” she answered.
“You are right!” What else could I say? She was so right and it made me so happy to know that my daughter is really thinking about God and what he means in her life! It was just one of those small moments when I could “see” her spiritual self. This is a rare thing and it was a gift from God to me to be able to see this side of her!

What side of your child has brought you joy lately?

A Montessori Homeschool

Once again I have been thinking! 🙂 This time I have been thinking alot about homeschooling. I have been preparing my plan for the 2011-2012 year and getting things together, and I started to think about being a Montessori family. Many people, including me, start Montessori at home with the thought that we can make a school for our kids. However, I am thinking that this is not really possible. As a homeschooled child I know that homeschooling is totally different then going to school. We may learn the same things, but no matter what you do it is always different then going to a classroom. Yet as a parent doing Montessori with my kids I expect to have the same envriorment that a teacher would have in a Montessori classroom. I think I may be crazy! 🙂 I think that this is a really good reality check for me as we head into a new year. My method of handling things has to be a little different since it is just my two kids. Bunny will need to learn everything from me, so there will be less independent work from her as she is learning a new skill and I will have play the games with her that she would have otherwise played with another child in a classroom. She will need more help from me to do research since she has no one else to work with. This means that I will be giving her far more one on one then a normal teacher in a Montessori classroom would think appropriate. Pup can learn from Bunny, but she is much father ahead in her work, so it will be a while till she can do what Bunny is doing. It also means that she will try new things sooner then she is ready for sometimes. This means my challenges are different then a teacher in a school, not harder or easier, just different.
Another challenge that I think is different for me is the discipline issue. I love the peace table. I think that it is such a great way for children to talk to their peers and work issues out in a loving way. I want to do it here, but it just hasn’t worked yet. Pup cant talk things out yet, and most the time when I help them work things out, its whenever they are in the house! We just never walked into the other room to use the space. So I thought about how it worked in a classroom and I realized that they are all in a one room area (for the most part). They aren’t going up or down stairs or into other parts of the house. They are all together. Then I thought about the screaming that sometimes happens here and I wondered what does a teacher do in that situation. ThenI thought about how Bunny would be in a school, and I realized she wouldn’t scream in a place with other people. She would be on her best behavior. Most kids are in school. I think alot of parents hear that their kids are wonderful in school, such kind people and good students. But the parents are unsure of where this kids is when they get home. There are many times when Bunny comes home from somewhere and is tired, grumpy, and this make her sassy and unkind. Not that she is bad, just that she is tired and at home. Home is a safe place, a place where a person (or kid) can be in a bad mood and still be loved and safe. I think that many kids are like this. I have been, as you all know, working on the best way to teach my kids respect. I have desiced to use timeout when the girls are misbehaving or when they need time to calm down. I know that this is not what is considered “Montessori”, but this is where that difference between a home and a school come in. Here at home my kids are always in their own space, they are always home. They are safe here and know that if they act up I will still love them, they have their own things here and they want to be sure that their sibling doesn’t take it, they are here with me 24-7 and I am sure that they get tired of me! My challenges are different, so my response must be too.
Sooo….I guess my point of the novel is that as a homeschooling family, I have to realize that I will not have the same experience as a teacher because I am their mom. I need to adjust my thinking and plan accordingly. I am sure that all of you moms out there who are homeschool have all come to this realization as well. I know that I can use most all of the Montessori Method, but some of it may need to be adjusted to fit us. This is a big thing for me because I love the method and want to keep things as true to Maria’s work as possible. I think though that this will help me. Thinking thing out will really allow me to know what will be the best for our family this school year!  Please know that these are just my thoughts and may not be true for everyone.

How has your homeschool plan changed as time has gone on?
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